Step back in time when you visit the historic community of Mesilla. Traditional adobe structures with their unique Southwestern features—some of them almost 150 years old—line the old town square. These buildings are now home to local museums, trendy art galleries and boutique shopping opportunities for Las Cruces pottery and other regional crafts, as well as restaurants offering traditional Southwestern cuisine in historic old adobe rooms and patios.
Believe it or not, farming has a long tradition in this desert landscape. One of our unique Las Cruces museums, the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, traces 3,000 years of farming and ranching history in this area. This interactive museum has more than 600,000 square feet of exhibits on topics like agricultural heritage, livestock and the evolution of equipment and techniques for farming and ranching. It also hosts special events during the year, such as a traditional blessing of the fields and Cowboy Days.
A reminder that this area was not always so peaceful, Fort Selden was established in 1865 to protect the Mesilla Valley from Apache raiders and outlaws. Situated along the Rio Grande, it housed U.S. Infantry and Cavalry units. Abandoned in 1891, Fort Selden State Monument today features the ruins of its adobe buildings and exhibits that explain the close connection between frontier living and military protection.
Catch a spectacular show at Southern New Mexico's premier performing arts venue. The Rio Grande Theatre features a variety of performances throughout the year including concerts, plays, musicals, comedy and variety shows. Check their schedule to see what performances are happening during your visit.
The Las Cruces Museum of Art features over 4,000 square feet of gallery space. With juried, traveling, invitational, national and international exhibits, the museum offers a wide-ranging calendar of events, lectures, tours, musical performances and art classes for students and adults. Admission is free.
The Branigan Cultural Center focuses on local Las Cruces history and also hosts changing cultural exhibits. Housed in a building on the National and State Registries of Historic Buildings, this Las Cruces museum is dedicated to engaging visitors on the rich culture of the Southwest.
The Museum of Nature & Science opened its doors in November 2012 and seeks to inspire curiosity about the sciences and promote stewardship of the Chihuahuan Desert in southern New Mexico.
Located in a historic depot of the Santa Fe Railroad, the Railroad Museum reminds visitors of the importance of the railway system in bringing settlers, goods and trade to this area of the country.